We have had the opportunity to spend most of our time at the home of hope; an orphanage for children with disabilities. Working as a Special Needs teacher and an Occupational Therapist in Aus, it is a blessing to be able to use our experiences and gifts in the time that we are here.
Because of the donations of second hand equipment over 18 months leading up to our time here (from special schools, hospitals and op shops), the home of hope was immensely blessed with 2 trailer loads of equipment, which included walkers, standing frames, toilet and shower chairs and positioning cushions. They were so in need and so grateful for what God was able to provide for them, as they sang 'This is the day that the Lord has made' as we brought it all in.
As we slowly went through what was there and how it could be used, it was evident that God had a specific purpose for some of what we umm'd and ahhh'd about bringing in the first place!
One example of this is that there was a box of arm and leg wraps (stretching equipment) and within the box randomly, was a moon boot (the ones that people used for an injured leg/ankle). We don't know how it got in there, nor did we see a purpose for it, but decided to bring it anyway. Upon getting there we discovered that one of the staff members had injured her leg the day before caring for one of the children and it was exactly what she needed! The next day we did the same thing with a walking stick but it turned out she could use that too!
Another special moment was looking out the window to see that Maureen, one of the older girls (~14 years) who does not walk, but would sometimes pull herself to stand, took off down the driveway on one of the walkers! Upon further investigation, we found out that she used to use a walker approx 5-6 years ago, but as they only have 1 (for the whole home) she grew out of it and there was no other option. It was a joy to see the immense pride on her face as she was able to walk again. After that, we were able to find a more suitable walker and are slowly teaching her to be responsible for it (I.e. cleaning it, taking herself for a walk without prompts.
The home of hope has 34 children, with one OT, one nurse and a social worker; as well as 6 rotating staff members. Please continue to pray for the work of Edith, who is doing an amazing job with the kids and has a huge heart for them, with some great staff members who are with the children day in and day out. The home of hope heavily relies on the monthly support from Hopebuilders, and for the rest on the faith of donations alone!
One more! We won't attach a photo of this one, but through the donation of a 'Rifton toilet chair' (for you therapists out there), one boy, Abraham was ecstatic to use it! Such an improvement to the comfort and accessibility he previously had, he said 'to the person who brought this for me, thank you!'. What a clever boy, as he waved to his friends on the original toilet chairs like a king on his throne.
We also had the privilege to be involved in a community visit and some individual home visits. At the community visit we were able to assist with dispensing epilepsy medication to over 60 clients and we were both invited to speak through an interpreter and specifically encourage and inform the parents of children with disabilities. Nicole was involved in a small therapy clinic for babies and toddlers and it was such an honour to meet these mothers, some who had walked for many kilometres to receive therapy for their children.
The home visits were another example of Gods provision of equipment when at one of the four homes we visited required a toilet seat for their daughter. Thankfully there was a suitable one from the container that was installed in the families outdoor toilet which immediately restored dignity to this young girl!
On Monday we say goodbye to Jess, who has been an amazing addition to the work of home of hope. Nicole will be staying a further 4 weeks to carry out the programs that have been started.